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Quick Update on Stages Dash L10, M50, and L50 Bike GPS Units (First Test Ride)

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While most of the cycling focus this week may be on the Tour Down Under in Australia, the reality is that most sports tech companies are busy cookin’ away trying to get products ready for the spring, when most cyclists (aside from Australians) wake up from hibernation and see what the non-Watopia world looks like (feel free to insert your own world switching joke here).

For some of these companies, it’ll be getting things cooked prior to announcements in the usual Sea Otter timeframe in April. But for Stages, it’s trying to get last year’s Eurobike 2018 announcements out the door.  You’ll remember the company announced a trio of cycling head units. Rather than recap that entire post and all the features/details/specs once again, I’m going with the super-quick bulletized version here (and then eventually an in-depth review once they get to release point).

So squished into my CES schedule last week in Las Vegas, I headed out for a first test ride on some near-final devices.

A Brief Primer:

If you’re new to the Stages 2018 bike GPS game, here’s the three versions:

Stages Dash L10: $149 – Basically the previous Stages Dash that’s far more powerful and can now do courses. Black & white display.
Stages Dash M50: $249 – This is the mid-sized unit, kinda like a Wahoo BOLT or Edge 520 Plus. Color display, maps/courses.
Stages Dash L50: $349 – This is the largest of the units, sorta like a Hammerhead Karoo in size. Color display, maps/courses.

All of the units have the same feature-set, save the L10 which doesn’t have the full set of detailed color maps (breadcrumb style). So you’re essentially paying for the screen size you want.

From a mapping standpoint, the unit’s are akin to the Wahoo ELEMNT/BOLT in that they follow routes sent to them by the phone/computer, but can’t re-route on the fly. So it’s a bit less in terms of mapping capabilities than a Garmin Edge 520 Plus or such. However, Stages has more mapping detail than Wahoo does, in that they also leverage the color to make it clear what are lakes/rivers and even interstates on the maps. So it’s kinda straddling the line between what Garmin is doing and what Wahoo is doing. Roughly.

From a structured workout standpoint, the company continues to dominate this area, in terms of the exact steps given to someone out riding that structured workout. I talked about this when it first launched on the previous Stages Dash units almost 18 months ago – and most of it remains similar today, except now there’s lots of color-coding for zones. But more on that in a minute.

And lastly, the big ticket key to all these units is that you can configure all three unit’s data fields from all three places: The unit itself, the phone, and your computer. Nobody else in the industry has this today. For example, Garmin’s are configured on the unit itself, whereas Wahoo is with your phone. Sigma is close in that you can configure the ROX 12 with a desktop computer and on the unit itself, but not a phone app.

Not to mention the crazy number of display fields that Stages can do on their screen. Like, you can basically have a separate data field for each mile of your bike ride. It’s kinda nuts. But, configure as you wish – options are great for everyone.

Again, all the boatloads of unit specs are in my previous post on it.

First Test Ride:

Processed with VSCO with au5 preset

Just over a week ago I met up with Stages in the desert in a deserted parking lot. It was pretty much how most cartel body disposal meetings go down. Though, actually, we first met in a small coffee shop to walk through all the software platform features. And I got to see the final retail boxes. None of which I thought to take photos of. I was still a bit jetlagged from the day before.

Nonetheless, all of it looked good. The boxes were pretty, but more importantly the mobile app was looking really slick, with a bunch of features added into it that make it one of the most capable smartphone app companions out there. Far more detail than Wahoo provides in their app, and a different level of detail than Garmin. I say different because Stages clearly has tons more cycling-specific info in their app, whereas Garmin has more holistic info (stuff like activity tracking, etc…). Same-same, but different.

Still, what I came for was the ride.

Back in that parking lot, we loaded up my bike with three head units. Two on the bars, and one in my pocket for later. The two that people (mainly, me) cared about most were on my bars: The Dash M50 and L50. These being the two color units.

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I also had some watches along as well for recording the GPS tracks. Pat (the Stages guy I was riding with) had pre-loaded the routes onto the unit. For this day we’d selected what was essentially an out and back. Except we decided to dork things a bit by taking a slightly different path on the way out (read: we missed the turn leaving the parking lot and I was curious to see what would happen, so we went with it).

Since this post is more of a super quick look into where things stand, I just want to briefly touch on the new bits. Again, down the road a full review once the units are ready.  If you want this all in video format, then just click play below:

Individually though, here’s a brief look at the new pieces. First starting off with the course bits. Since we were out in the desert, there wasn’t much in the way of dense urban goodness to look at around us on the map. Whereas at the coffee shop we were near suburbia and plenty of interstates. So there was tons of stuff on the map.  Still, what you see below is that the darker blue is where we’ve been to date, whereas the lighter blue line ahead is where we’re going. They said they’re still looking at the colors a bit, so that may not be final.

Note: All of these in-ride pics were shot in video, and then screen-clipped. As such, the quality is iffy at best. It looks prettier in person. Again, I wasn’t really thinking this post through mid-ride unfortunately.

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Additionally, you see the elevation profile displayed as well.  The greyed portions are where you’ve been already, and the gradients are displayed in different colors.  All you really need to know is that the color red hurts. You can zoom and pan on the map by hitting the lower left button.

For reference, here’s what the PowerPoint back at Eurobike showed for more dense mapping areas, and I can say it looks pretty much exactly like this (except the shading is slightly different now on the elevation graph):

If you go off-course and then return to course some time later, it’ll correctly skip to the next portion of the elevation profile (as we did). So that was nice.

Since the units were first introduced, one of Stages’ big marketing focuses has been the brilliance of the display – which still manages to get 15-18 hours of GPS-on time. The display itself was apparently chiseled out of a lighthouse, as it’s mind-bogglingly bright. Back at Interbike you’ll remember how horrible all my photos came out indoors. It’s really tough to shoot.

But now out in the desert, it definitely shines. As you can easily see in the video – it’s increda-bright. In fact, the company says one of the things that they’re working on prior to release is decreasing the backlight at night (or in tunnels).  They say they’re still hitting their previous battery targets of 15-18 hours for the M50/L50 (the L10 is at 24-30 hours GPS-on time).

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One of the big-ticket items is the implementation of a new color-coded power target gauge. This carries over from their indoor cycling bikes where folks in clubs are just trying to aim for a specific color that corresponds to a given zone.  So you can set up these zones ahead of time to your liking, or, you can let it try and determine the zones based on your power efforts during actual workouts. Similar to how some apps/devices/platforms determine your FTP.

Notice how on the lower right side my total ride power is in the yellow zone, whereas my current power at that moment was in the blue (easy) zone. Also notice how there’s secondary color-coded zones for heart rate.  That’s useful for some structured workouts that may specify to maintain a given power until HR reaches a certain threshold, at which point you terminate that set.

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When it comes to the structured workout bits, we switched that on mid-way through the ride. The core of that workout engine is as before, except now it’s going to give you color-coded zones for everything.  In fact, you’ve got different sets of colors to watch.

When in workout mode this gets simplified to just a couple of colors on the gauge, allowing you to easily figure out if you’re on-target or above/below. Sorry, again, slightly off-center video snippet to show this. You’ll see how the majority of the target is grey, except the orange/red target zones (orange/red corresponding to your normal power colors).  In this case, I took this screenshot just as we crested a hill, so I totally missed this target as we started going downhill.

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But what’s interesting here is that you can still see the normal non-workout zone colors on individual data fields. For example, your power/cadence/HR zones can still have their own colors that are always visible.  This gets to a bit of the Stages strategy of giving you tons of options for structured workouts and just data in general. I continue to see the Stages Dash units as the most data-centric head unit out there. If it’s data you want, Stages gets you that.

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Like with past Stages products, the unit will count-down into different workout segments. Additionally, workouts will automatically sync to the unit from not just the Stages platform (Today’s Plan), but soon other popular training platforms that also use similar initials.

What about GPS accuracy? Things look pretty good thus far. It’s something that Stages says they’ve spent a ton of time on, even doing silly things like going into cul-de-sac’s and doing spirals towards the center to see how perfect they look. And it seems to be paying off. As we climbed up a thin and twisty bike path, the Stages and COROS units were spot-on the bike trail. The Polar not so much.

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You can look at the full GPS track here in the DCR Analyzer. This file was from the Stages M50 (the middle-priced unit). We ended up stopping the L50 file mid-ride and restarting it, in order to access the workout function (since in this beta build it didn’t yet allow mid-ride workout enablement, by shipping it will).

I looked at the elevation profile in the Analyzer, but honestly, I’m not sure who is right or wrong there. The Polar unit doesn’t have a barometric altimeter (it’d be using GPS for elevation), whereas the COROS APEX does. The Stages and COROS units were slightly offset at times, but again, I have no idea which one is right on this specific ride:

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Again, this is just one ride – and one without trees no less. So just take it as a single random data point. Nothing more, nothing less.

Going Forward:

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So the big question is: When is Stages actually going to ship this trio?

If you ask them, they’d say February. But I think that’s a touch bit optimistic. Not heavily so, but just slightly. My guess is that they might skid in late February, but I’d put my money more on early March.  They noted that most of their time to date has been on ensuring the underlying platform is rock solid, and then from here cleaning up some of the loose ends in the user interface.

And indeed, on a few different units shown to me last weekend, the newest builds had much prettier visual elements to them. Small touches that really did make a big difference on one’s perception of the unit.  Still, I find most companies tend to underestimate how long the finishing UI aspects tend to take.

While out riding, Pat and I had chatted a bit about bike GPS’s in general, and how that when a unit works fine, you get to the end of the ride and say ‘Shrug, all was good’. There often isn’t some massive bit of excitement like there might be in playing with a new phone. A bike GPS should be somewhat subtle. It should give you the data you want when you want it, and it shouldn’t lead you astray (literally or figuratively).

So as we got to the end of the ride he asked what I thought – and ultimately referenced back to that conversation. It all worked just fine for me on this ride. Sure, a few minor bugs, but at its core – it showed the data I expected and did it well. There was no crashes or other spectacular failures – so all was good.

(As a funny aside, over the last numbers of years, Pat has been the designated Stages person to show me new technology. And on all previous product intro rides with him over the years, something has always gone horribly sideways. The first Dash preview ride years ago, the GPS wouldn’t turn on upon arrival in Paris, and then two years ago my first Stages LR ride resulted in a bunch of wonky data. These were just early development/beta bits of bad luck, but I presume he left the desert happy that nothing went horribly wrong.)

Ultimately, I think the biggest challenge for Stages bike GPS units will simply be one of ‘Why Stages?’. Sure, for the data-driven athlete, there’s tons of good reasons. But for the more general athlete, the M50/L50 are a harder pitch over Wahoo and Garmin at the same price (and Lezyne/Polar too).  With Stages lacking Strava Live Segments (due to Strava placing a per-device fee on it), it’ll hurt them in the more mass-market appeal.

Still, I’m excited about they’ve got coming. Plus, that $149 unit continues to be the best deal out there for GPS bike computers. The features packed into that are incredible for that price. But I’m also looking forward to seeing some of the user interface finesse that I saw on some of the units come out. I think that’ll help quite a bit.

With that – thanks for reading!

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146 Comments

  1. Nate C

    Are they doing that stupid fake feature/price differentiation thing that other companies do, where only the more expensive ones can connect to power meters? Any word on di2 ant+ pairing, remotes for page switching, radar, etc?

    • Nah, all the same.

      I believe Di2/etc is planned for launch, but I think the remainder were later (if at all). I’ll have to have them confirm.

    • Hey Nate,

      Ray is right. We figure we are not the only ones who love having all of their data. The things that differentiate our products are purely hardware driven: The L10 has a black and white display, and if we could put maps on it we would, but we cant make a bike computer for $149 that can also handle all the fancy OSM cycling specific mapping our L50 and M50 units can.

      The M50 and L50 are essentially the same in feature sets. Updates will always apply to both units and include the same new features. The L50 will have a bit longer battery life, more data fields possible on one page, and be easier to read just by virtue of being bigger. For some of us at Stages, bigger text and data fields are a welcome sight for our aging eyes.

      As for sensors at launch, we will support BLE/ANT power, heart rate, cadence, speed, and speed/cadence sensors. Some trainers (Unique BLE profiles there are a bit trickier and will come throughout the summer in time for winter). The first things after launch are radar and electronic groupsets which should be in before the main riding season here in the northern hemisphere. Remotes and lights to follow.

      Hope thats helpful!

    • Neil Jones

      Re bigger text – it would be good to see customisable font size, even though it can be a headache for UI designers. Like many middle-age cyclists, I’m at that stage where my near distance vision isn’t what it used to be, but everything’s still fine on a bike ride until some critical warning message pops up in 8pt on my Edge. Was that my back light about to die? Di2 battery warning? Vector 3s losing connection again? No idea.

    • Neil,

      I see what you mean, and you are certainly right on about how that can be difficult for UI designers. Customizing font size was not in the plan, but its a good idea. I cant say we could do this by launch, but I have logged a feature request for it so we can asses the impact of changing font size throughout our UI, and exposing that setting to the rider.

      To you, as a person who has difficulty seeing notification overlays on his Garmin, you can be sure the overlay font on the L50 notifications will be bigger and easier to read. First of all, Both the M50 (2.2″ display) and L50 (2.7″ display) have higher resolution displays (240x300px) than the Garmin 520 (2.3″ and 200x265px). That makes a massive difference in font readability. That said, for the L50 specifically, all aspects of fonts, data fields, and widgets will be ~20% bigger than the M50, and very crisp.

      I hope that helps. We really think the L50 is a fantastic bike computer. Its display is big, the battery life is good, and with its high resolution riders who have difficulty seeing small fonts and widgets on existing computers can actually use our cycling specific maps or color guided workouts without squinting and being unsafe out on the road.

  2. Navi Gator

    How easy is it to zoom and pan the maps on these devices? Garmin 520(+) can’t pan and zooming takes multiple button presses through the menus, which makes them non-starters for me. The 820 would be OK if the touch screen wasn’t so bad.

    • No menu button presses required, you can do it all from the map screen. I show it in the video a bit actually, albeit only super quick because the camera shot at that moment didn’t turn out well.

  3. Manuel Hetzl

    Interesting units!
    From software developers view I think they should invest software quality of upcoming updates (unit tests etc). This is a weak point of most Garmin products. I could image that people are willing to switch to Stages more likely when they get software updates that really work. Not like it is very often: Creating new features/updates messes up existing functionality completly.

    • Manuel,

      Product lead from Stages here (maybe I’ll stop saying that in later comments). Great to hear this technical request! We are using unit tests and intend on releasing full updates without dependencies to avoid making any mistakes like you described. Your settings and files will always be safe, as we wont touch that partition during the update.

      We are also a company full of cyclists eager to test our products, which I find to be a major asset for Stages in general. Keep the technical questions coming, I think in a forum such as this you wont be the only one interested in the topics.

  4. Bsquared

    Support for high-speed power recording? Radar support?

    • Neither at start. Though, it seems like radar might be on the table. We chatted about it a bit during the ride, especially since the route we were on was perfect for it (occasional cars, but when they came by they were usually high speed).

    • Neil Jones

      Yes please. I realise that radar users only make up a very, very small minority, but I know I certainly wouldn’t go back to riding without one, and I suspect most others would feel the same. Support for radar would be an essential feature for any future bike computer purchase for me.

    • Neil,

      We are liking all of the radar requests we are seeing, it will certainly cause a prioritization of this feature for us to “immediate” instead of “nice to have”. Look for it to be added right away after launch.

    • Kyle

      If it’s there around launch consider me sold!

    • Kyle,

      Allow me to consider you sold a little after launch, then 🙂

      This forum has rocketed radar compatibility up to the top of the list for us. We are obviously in the final crunch time before launch right now polishing up things that Ray already keenly noted, but once we set our sights on it, it should not take us long to get it done. Keep an eye out for a late spring release with radar support.

      PS: Anything you wish was better about your current radar experience? Asking for a friend…

    • Bsquared

      On the 520 it can be hard to hear the alert beep when a car is detected by radar. Hoping the L50 has louder audible alerts.

    • Bsquared,

      It’s purely anecdotal at this point, as I don’t have a decibel meter laying around the office, but the L50 speaker is pretty loud! I think plenty loud for letting you know there’s something to check out on the L50 display.

      Like I mentioned earlier, we hear this group when it comes to radar integration, so look for it soon after launch.

    • Bsquared

      Thanks Jim, my usual training route starts with a 1 hour outbound into a strong 10-20mph headwind. I can go for 10-15 minutes without a car, and with the Edge 520 it can be a little difficult to hear because of the wind. The L50 looks like my next upgrade!

    • Whew! You must be pretty fit!

    • Bsquared

      I wish! But I’ve won the mental battle 😉

  5. cycloscott

    What’s the source of their maps? The Garmin maps are notoriously bad for mtb trails, but at least allow you to sideload your own from someplace like openstreetmaps. Wahoo has better basemaps but do NOT allow any sideloading. Where does Stage fit?

    And how secure would you consider their mount to be? Suitable for ‘robust’ trail riding?

    • It’s OSM, same as Garmin and Wahoo actually. But each company can choose from a crapton of options on which trails/etc to include or not include. Perhaps Stages is able to chime in on what they’ve done.

      Their mount is crazy solid. Seriously, no in-box mount system is as good as theirs (all metal). There’s a mountain biker I follow (he may be one of their athletes, not entirely sure), that has his unit out-front all the time. Unreal stuff: link to youtube.com

    • Hey Cycloscott,

      Product lead from Stages here. Our maps are OSM based. Since we have full color, high resolution displays on both units, we styled our maps to show you things a cyclist wants to see: roads with bike lanes, paved bike paths, dirt bike paths, etc. are all brightly colored making it easy to explore great bike routes on the fly. We also de-emphasized major highways which are typically poor for bike riders. We even display icons for things bikers want to see, like public restrooms and pubs 🙂

      All dash cycling map regions are free. You can manage your map regions, settings, courses, and workouts using Stages Link. Since both M50 and L50 have ~13GB free for maps, you should have no problem loading all the places you like on your Dash (for example, Australia is about 2GB, so thats a lot of map region space!).

    • Neil Jones

      Clear maps are always a good thing, and one extra I always wish my Edge had was the ability to customise the colour scheme, as an artistic palette doesn’t necessarily make for a good UX. For example, Garmin’s use of a range of similar blues and purples on my Edge 1030 often leaves me approaching a junction thinking “which one’s the ‘this is your route’ shade of blue and which one’s the ‘this is a main road’ one? Or is it actually a river?”. I’d love to be able to just change the scheme to primary and secondary colours that are easy to differentiate, even if the end result did look like I’d just got a bumper Crayola set for Christmas.

    • Meredith

      You can use custom colour schemes on maps for Garmin devices if you are willing to compile your own maps. I have done it but there was a learning curve and quite a bit of tweaking until I worked out the settings I wanted.

      First of all you download the relevant OSM data in the native OSM format. Then you can strip out any elements you don’t want. Then you can compile the edited OSM data into the Garmin map format while applying your custom style. Then you can add the maps to your Garmin device.

      All the tools needed are free and use the command line. I have saved out the command lines required to text files making it easy to repeat the process if I want to update the map.

      A simple option built into the Garmin units would be nice.

    • Neil,

      Completely agree! We have spent a lot of time here going though a ton of different color schemes to try and make maps with the easiest to understand colors at a glance, even for our color deficient employees.

      We have not exposed color scheme customization to the user for launch, but are willing to consider it down the road. I have logged a feature request for this and we will look at it as we prioritize updates throughout the year.

      Here is what we have done to make using a Dash map the best cycling experience on the market today:
      – Roads with bike lanes are BRIGHT magenta
      – Paved bike paths are BRIGHT green
      – Dirt paths that are ok for cycling are brown
      – Your course is BRIGHT blue (see a theme?)
      – Your breadcrumb trail is black

      Other roadways on the map, which are still important but less so maybe to a cyclist looking to explore, are indicated by different widths of road, depending on their road type, which are white with a dark border on a grey background similar to most maps.

      We also included icons on the map for interesting things like public restrooms and pubs to name a few.

      Lastly, we have a Day and Night mode for the map, so maybe if one works better than the other for you, you can leave that setting on the map regardless of what your device color scheme is.

      Before we expose the color schemes to the user, we want to make sure all of the content on the maps is locked in, so for now its a little easier for us to do our best to make cycling features clear, and courses separate.

  6. Fred Lee

    Intriguing, but as an owner of the current model Dash (bought as part of their blowout sale a couple months ago), their computer products are entirely unintuitive. I guess if you’re bought into their training ecosystem maybe they work better and maybe I’m spoiled by Garmin, but it feels like I’m using a product designed in the 80s.

    I bought it as a second computer so I could leave one at the office and one at home. But I haven’t successfully /used/ the thing yet. Maybe it’s a matter of spending a couple hours with the documentation, but that’s never been necessary with any other GPS I’ve bought.

    Maybe this update includes an OS for the last generation that modernizes its interface? That would be welcome.

    • Fred Lee

      And BTW, if anything I’m a stages fanboy, with four of their powermeters on various bikes. I really wanted that last computer to be a great product.

    • I totally agree with you on the previous Stages, it was just kinda weird to navigate. More or less, the Stages L10 remains the same.

      The Stages M50/L50 are definitely much clearer for sure, far better. That said, since the UI pieces are the bits that are furthest from refinement, I suspect things will change a fair bit between now and shipping (likely for the better though).

    • Fred,

      I am very sorry to hear that. I understand why you feel that way. I’d love to get you up and going on your Dash, and I know our customer service team is good at helping break down that barrier.

      We made a huge effort on L10, M50, and L50 to make setup more intuitive and integrated with a very much so overhauled Stages Link app. You are also correct in that the 50 series are based on a much more powerful chipset and linux based OS.

      Send us a note over on shttp://support.stagesdash.com/en/support/home and we will try to help you get going.

      Thanks for being a Stages superfan! I hope to keep it that way.

  7. Michael

    Unrelated question: what watch are you wearing in this video and did you have it paired / using for the purpose of comparing data?

    • I was wearing the Polar Vantage M on one wrist, and the COROS APEX on the other wrist. Off-hand I believe the COROS was paired to my Vector 3 pedals, and I’ve gotta look at see what the Vantage was paired to. Both were using internal optical HR, while the Stages M50 was paired to my chest strap.

      For this test I wasn’t super focused on the power side of things (which looks slightly odd to me), since I didn’t really have the time to ensure all bits of the test were setup/controlled properly. Primarily for this test I was interested in GPS. HR was interesting to me, but since I was shooting/filming a bunch, that can occasionally impact optical HR, so I wouldn’t place major emphasis on that in this particular set.

  8. Chapo

    Those look good and the feature set is close to perfection.

    Can we hope for integration into multiple training platforms ? I do not want ot have to setup my zones in multiple places as they evolve (hopefully in the right direction). So ability to correctly interpret training instructions from Training Peaks would be a major selling point for me and probably the only thing preventing me from pullnig the trigger on those.
    Also, is there a way to pilot an indoor trainer ERG mode once the structured workout has been loaded into the unit ?

    Thanks for all your work.

    Cheers

    • Chapo,

      We hear you loud and clear, especially when it comes to zones and workouts. I agree, there are so many ways to manage zones in so many places, and we hope to see some standardization in the industry going forward as well. I am not sure I fully understand everything you are asking, so let me tell you what we do have planned for launch and let me know if i missed anything on your wishlist:

      * All .fit format workouts can be added to the Dash. Since TrainingPeaks stores absolute (specific wattage) values in their .fit workout files, you can be sure that all of your workout step targets are correct on the dash
      * Zones at launch can be set using FTP and FThr on the Dash, managing up to 20 of them on StagesLink (they automatically sync to the Dash), or allowing the Dash to figure them out for you.
      * Workout targets from any .fit workout file appear in the data field they define (so power targets appear in power fields).
      * We have a full color, zone based, workout progress graph widget that will make seeing your whole workout and where you are in it very simple.
      * All of your ride files can be pushed out to multiple training platforms using the BLE connection on the Stages Link app or USB using either the StagesSync desktop app or by simple usb mass storage device.
      * We plan to integrate workouts into trainer control, which we will release during the summer so you have it in time for your winter (unless its summer for you right now, which we would be jealous of)

      Syncing your exact zones from TrainingPeaks to the Dash will not be possible at launch, but there are more ways to manage your zones on the Dash than other computers, so hopefully while we wait for some standards to appear between the platforms, the Dash can serve your needs.

    • Chapo

      Re-reading my comment it was indeed not quite clear. Thank you for the details it’s helpful. I’m still not quite sure if it is exactly how I would use it though.

      My main use case is :
      – my coach puts workouts for me in TrainingPeaks
      – I load it automagically on my garmin
      – I ride in zwift.

      It’s seamless and I never have to plug anything to anything. Would it work in the same fashion ?

      As far as trainer control goes, your devices already have the ability to pilot a controllable trainer (i.e the workout calls for 300w, no matter which speed/cadence i’m in, the trainer varies the intensity of the resistance to match 300w) ?

      I am fortunate to live in a place where it’s always summer ! But I ride on my trainer year-long as well.

    • Chapo,

      Right away TrainingPeaks workouts from your calendar will not automatically push to the Dash via BLE like you are used to. You would have to export them and add them to the Dash manually. We are working on getting this to happen automatically from Trainingpeaks to the Dash, as we already do send completed rides from the Dash to Trainingpeaks.

      Trainer control is right behind Radar integration for us. We are planning this based on a timeline for fall/winter users wanting to move inside later in the year.

      For you, I think you should wait, I don’t want to disrupt your current system as it appears to work really well for the kind of rider you are. We will certainly have these kinds of integrations soon, but I’d rather you get on the Dash train once it’s uniquely ready for you.

      I will note that if you used Stages Link, all of this is possible at launch, as well as course building, map region sync, and Dash settings management on the App and Web. We provide a free premium trial with all new Stages products (customized training plans and advanced analysis tools like compliance score and pro-tour level analytics) so maybe its something you want to try out right at launch. Ill let you decide.

  9. Sander

    Hi,

    What are the batterysizes of these units? Because screentime doesn’t say everythin.

    How will planning routes look like?

    Thanks,

    Sander

    • sander kroeze

      Screentime = batterylife

    • Sander,

      M50: 1800mAh
      L50: 2300mAh

      We went big on battery to make sure we could power the brightest and highest resolution displays of any bike computer out there. So, indeed, as we continue to add features and optimize performance, look for our battery life to creep up past our quoted launch numbers.

    • sander

      Thanks Jim for you answer. That’s much bigger then the battery of a edge 520+. Who claims to have 15 hours batterylife.

      Some other questions:
      1.Are gpx files created by Osmand+ supported? These files contains turnbyturn info (contains almost the same info like a route fit file) and Osmand doesn’t need a internet connection to generate them.
      2.Do you need a internet connection for sending a new route gpx/fit/tcx to the stage device?

    • Sander,

      I will check to make sure specifically OsmAnd+ GPX files are supported. I worry they create files similar to “route” files with only points on the route at navigation instructions, if this is the case, you would need to import them to StagesLink first, and then they will sync to the Dash once saved.

      If they are exporting gpx files with trackpoints, we will certainly support them at launch. To make sure we support everyone, we have a new_files directory on our device that you can add a gpx course file to and use it on your Dash.

      As for sending a file to the Dash without internet, via BLE the answer is likely yes, via USB no (as long as you already had a file on your computer).

      It sounds like what you would like to see is a connection between our Link App and OsmAnd where, if you share a file from OsmAnd, you can see StagesLink as an option, right? In that case, although not supported at launch, we could send that file to the Dash via BLE connection without internet, as long as the file was on your phone already. Ive added a feature request for this, and we will assess how much work it will be and prioritize accordingly.

    • Sander

      Supporting Osmand+ gpx files with TBT info would be very nice, because it gives extra opportunities to change the route on road without the need of a internet connection.

    • Sander,

      Its on the list! It wont be in at launch, but we agree. Thanks for the OsmAnd+ vote, its not the only one we’ve gotten.

    • sander

      It will gives a hudge advantage compared to competitors, who are trying to invent the wheel again (a Dutch saying). They don’t come close to what OSMAND+ haves to offer. I think it’s a shame nobody take this opportunit.

      Thanks again.

    • Bsquared

      Hi Jim, for long epic adventures the battery may run out, is it possible to charge while recording? Currently I carry a small usb battery pack in my jersey, and use it to charge Edge 520, Varia 500, Bontrager Flare RT, and phone. I’m able to charge the 520 and radar while in use.

    • Bsquared,

      Yes, the M50 and L50 do have this capability, while the L10 already has 24h+ battery life and cannot be charged at the same time as recording a ride. Maybe someday bikes will have a central battery that can keep all of our gizmos running happily through the night. If only we could all agree on a standard….

  10. TLa

    The units look really good, I like the midsize most.

    I really couldn’t care less about Strava segment integration.

    What I do find a pitty is no actual routing on the device (without smartphone), I really use this a lot and hate pulling out my phone during a ride.

    Still some question:
    – Will it do live tracking?
    – Battery life is 15-18 hours, is this with mapping on and in the cold (the Edge 820 I have should have 15 hours as well but with mapping on and in the cold, it gets about 3 hours which is the reason I’m looking for something else)

    • Craig Robertson

      Same here, Edge 520 battery life has become poor for me, more so since i started using the Varia Radar. Start to worry not on 4 hour + rides if the battery will last. Turn bluetooth, glonass off, etc and still it uses a lot of battery. Will be interesting to see battery life with all sensors and mapping on these new Stages units.

    • TLa,

      We hear you. Our design decision to allow the phone to participate in routing is very much related to the issues you are experiencing with your Garmin battery life. A big part of why we all dont just have iPhones out on our handlebars is:

      1. To big (for me at least)
      2. Battery life with the screen on and navigation running would be terrible!!!
      3. Touchscreens and sweat dont mix

      So, we went ahead and made the clearest and most cycling specific maps that exist on bike computers today! Our hope is if you load a course on the dash (simple to do with Stages Link!) and end up off course, you can use our super detailed map to find the safest way back without all the crazy reroutes the Garmin sends you. Also, without having to pull out your phone. You can use the pan and zoom features (as Ray noted, they are simple to use while viewing the map) to see where the course is if you are really lost, and simply look at our map for the best bike routes back to your plan. No phone needed!

      We hoped to thread the needle here between battery life and ease of use for a cyclist using mapping and courses. I hope our simple zoom and advanced maps can help you overcome the lack of routing on the device, and even reduce the need to stop and reach for your phone.

    • TLa

      Thanks a lot for the reply Jim.

      It’s going on the short-list 🙂

      Also because I have very good experiences with the Stages helpdesk after a little problem with the powermeter (very fast and direct answers, straight to the point)

    • Craig,

      We have a ton of respect for the Garmin units. We all ride bikes, so its not hard to imagine we all have used them plenty. Garmin knows what they are doing, so its always super risky to think you can do a better job than they can at the start of a project.

      That’s why we went ahead and put massive batteries in the M50 and L50. No reason to think we would somehow figure out how to connect to 4 sensors at a time, and a phone, and have the best maps and workouts in the world, AND have better battery life than the Garmin! So, get went and got a bigger hammer to solve that problem, and we are now sitting comfortably with our battery life even with a lot of applications that have not been optimized for efficiency yet. When you compare the M50 weight to the 520, you will see the difference in battery size, but remember, when you consider the factory mount that comes with a Dash vs the one that comes with a Garmin, it makes up for the weight difference! We send you an aluminum arm in the box that connects to the side of the computer, something you currently have to buy as an aftermarket part for your less streamlined bottom-mounting quarter turn computers 😉

      Last note: the L10 gets 24 hours of battery life! I know, its not color and does not have maps… but still, that’s a heck of a long time.

  11. Ross M

    Really excited by the larger screens to replace my wahoo elemnt. Bit of shame about having no strava live segments, is this a definite no or might this be revisited??

    • Ross,

      It’s never going to be a no. We decided to focus on making every feature we were in control of super simple and powerful from a cyclist perspective. I am really sorry we wont launch with this feature, but for certain a result of not spending time on SLS has given us the ability to make the features you are used to much better, like an altitude profile for your courses that has colored gradients, or maps that can actually be used without a course, or workout targets that appear in existing data fields, etc.

      I know, I’m deflecting, but we really wanted to make the best bike computer we can, and for a lot of us that meant simple to use maps, workouts you could actually follow, data fields you could read, education on training zones right in the ride screens, customization on the Dash, Web, and App, and a new, fully featured, Stages Link app that makes tracking your performance really easy. You will always be able to sync all your rides over to Strava through our Link app automatically via BLE connection, and see if you smashed your buddies after the ride.

      Look for SLS down the road, but right now, were focused on making all the other features great for cyclists.

    • Ross M

      Jim,
      Thanks for the update, really appreciate your honesty and where you are heading. I must say I am excited about the stage m50 and l50. Do I take the plunge??

    • I wouldn’t call it a plunge as much as I would call it a “conscientious uncoupling” or whatever the cool kids are saying. We all think the current devices are great, but it might be best for all of us to move on to new, more vibrant things 🙂

      We’ve got a big team with an open mind for the spring and summer, so were ready to listen to you folks for what’s the most important thing to work on. From what I can see so far, maybe we should start working on our own radar!

    • sendvo

      How about race against GPX file that may or may not be a strava effort?

  12. Jeffrey F.

    I’d appreciate to hear from Jim on what they’ve done for location accuracy. Do all three units have the same satellite chipset? What systems do they use? (GPS, Glonoss, QZSS, Galileo, etc.) Do they do any kind of post-processing beyond simple sanity filtering… e.g. snapping to roads?

    The location accuracy isn’t such a big deal during a ride, but it can be very important for accurate Strava segment matching……

    • Jeffery,

      Great comment/questions! The DC crowd does not mess around!

      The new 50 series devices use a very reputable MediaTek chip with GPS (worldwide) and QZSS (Japan/Australia) as the main satellite systems for location, as well as the WAAS/EGNOS/MSAS/GAGAN satellite augmentation systems. No Glonass/Galileo you say?! Well, with GPS and QZSS and augmentation, we can get very accurate location and save battery life at the same time.

      We’ve been to Australia, China, Taiwan, Germany, UK, and the US for GPS accuracy testing with the units and so far very pleased with the results.

      This chipset was specifically designed for the fitness applications (aka, relatively low speed and low power consumption) and is showing very excellent first time to fix performance and accuracy.

      We do not snap to roads, as that is a world of difficulty that we will leave up to the web platforms with infinite computing resources in the cloud. What we did focus on is getting every single data point we record in the file as accurate, from a hardware perspective, as possible. Therefore, no matter where you take your file, you can be sure the original data has not been messed with by any filter or otherwise well-meaning but poorly conceived algorithm. You can be sure your Strava segment matches will be accurate.

  13. Bob

    Question for Jim at Stages,

    Hi Jim, is there anything planned for Xert support?

    • Bob,

      Simple answer for launch: Unfortunately not.

      We know the industry is more and more built on the platform in which our customers prefer to plan/analyze their rides, so we hear you on this.

      One of the things that caused some delay in our launch between Eurobike and now was adding accommodations in our software infrastructure such that we can handle more integrations down the road as companies become more interested in them. We had to make sure that we could easily provide a way for Xert or others to work with us and we will make it a priority to integrate with new platforms after launch. (FIT workouts are fully supported by dash, as are GPX course files, so we got you covered at launch)

      Out of the box the Dash will be fully integrated with Stages Link, where you can customize your dash settings, courses, workouts, and map regions. We also have made massive improvements to our Stages Link App for iOS and Android which will provide all of our users a simple way to manage their Dash and rides from their phone. Stages Link also provides custom training plan options for riders based on a huge amount of variables, like your availability, skill level, and specific goals.

      At launch, we already support, via Stages Link account connections (which is a model for other companies going forward):
      – Strava
      – UnderArmour
      – TrainingPeaks
      – Ride with GPS

      We are 100% committed to each individual rider’s existing web platform, and never want to prevent you from accessing your data, so dont worry, you can keep using Xert. I just thought it was a nice opportunity to show how we are also trying to provide a great place to make riding more fun.

    • Scott Millns

      Support for TrainerRoad at launch?

    • Scott,

      Looking around the TrainerRoad forums it appears you cannot export a .fit file for a workout. This means, like the Garmin, you would need to rebuild the workout in Link or another platform that supports .fit files.

      I logged this as a feature request (support trainer road workout files on the dash) and will look into getting it in an early update. This would at least allow you to export the trainerroad workout and add it to the new_files folder on the dash.

    • Scott Millns

      Thanks Jim,

      What about the other way round too, importing outside rides into TrainerRoad via auto syncing?

      Scott

    • Bob

      Hi Jim,
      Thanks for taking the time to answer.
      All the best.

    • dizpark

      For all the Garmin faults and problems, there is one thing going for Garmin – Connect IQ ecosystem. AFAIK neither dash nor wahoo computers have anything similar. Ok, most probably there is a lot of useless junk in CIQ store that half of the time creates more problems than work, but XERT has used the CIQ platform brilliantly by building its workout player app and XERT datafields – really the core of XERT goodness). My guess is that for equivalent functionality to appear on Dash, there would have to be concerted coding effort both by Stages and XERT. In that sense Garmin is much more open to third parties.

      PS Being able to load an XERT generated workout file onto Dash is not IT, it’s the XERT datafields that matter.

    • Scott,

      That is a much easier lift for us, I have logged a task to reach out to TrainerRoad so we can add them to the list of platforms we automatically push ride data to. I cant give a timeline just yet, but those ones are much easier for us, as we already do this with Strava/TrainingPeaks/UnderArmour etc.

      Thanks for the reminder!

    • Bob,

      This is some of the best product feedback we can get, it’s totally worth the time! Keep the questions coming. We want to make the best computers in the world.

    • dizpark,

      Garmin’s approach to 3rd party integrations is certainly great and seems to be starting to work really well for them.

      We’re still pre-launch, so its tough to already have a bunch of 3rd party connections going on, as most companies will want to hear from people like you before they make an effort, like you said, to spend resources integrating with a new product.

      We took a different approach, where we will not be a platform for other companies to develop complete applications on the Dash computers, instead, we built the dash in a way that a connected device can use the same components of the dash as our primary Dash software uses. In other words, we acknowledge that the smartphone is still the most powerful computer on the bike rider, and when it comes to app development, things go very quick in the iOS/Android world. Instead of supporting our own application platform, we have decided to make a robust BLE API that will allow applications to push data to custom BLE data fields like XERT does in CIQ (this is certainly a post launch feature!), subscribe to data we already record in the dash (an app can get power data, gps data, etc so it does not have to pair to your sensors or run GPS and waste battery), and put or get files like workouts, courses, and rides. Applications can also send overlay dialogues to get answers from riders and send notifications just to tell the rider something pertinent to that application.

      All in all, for sure we are going to be trailing Connect IQ at launch, but I think the way we have approached CIQ type functionality will be lightweight for companies to use, and I would expect to see a few companies start to use this come trainer season here in the northern hemisphere. I would not expect to see much before then, however.

      I just want you to know that we think CIQ is important, as a larger part of the “everyone likes different platforms” conversation. With Dash I hope you come for the best native features, stay for the big improvements using 3rd parties by trainer season 🙂

    • Matthew

      Scott,

      TrainerRoad links to Strava. So what I do today with my Garmin to get outdoor rides into TrainerRoad is: Garmin Edge 820 -> Garmin Connect -> Strava -> TrainerRoad

      So since it looks like you will be able to do: Stages Dash -> Stage Link -> Strava, you would just need to enable the TrainerRoad Strava link

    • dizpark

      Jim! I appreciate your long and detailed answer re BLE API. Best of luck with developing Dash line. I will be watching this space with interest.

    • dizpark,

      We’ll get you eventually 😉

  14. Clive

    Hi Jim,

    I am unsure whether Stages will support Xert. This is because the people who buy the Stages dash use Stages Link (Today’s Plan) to analyse their rides, workouts, plan their training and monitor their power meters. I like Xert but since using Today’s Plan I find it more useful on the whole. It’s like having a Personal Coach without hiring a Coach. I personally am a convert to the whole Stages Eco System. Also Stages customer service and support are second to none, they are always on point if you get into trouble. Keep up the good work Stages!

    • Clive,

      +1 +1 +1!!

      I agree, I have requested wake-up calls from our CS team just because they are so helpful, it would be a great way to start the day. Might be the only ticket they didn’t reply to in the history of Stages.

      Its important to note, I think, that Stages Link is a VERY powerful training tool. We started working with Todays Plan a few years ago and have really grown together in making the new 50 series (dont forget, the L10 is already the best workout device out there, you can do a workout on the L10 and get compliance scores in Link immediately after the ride. Nobody does this, and its because we work with the guys at Todays Plan every day to make training better).

      There is no other ecosystem that allows you to customize your devices, get customized training plans, build courses, sync ride data, build workouts, and best of all, try out all the tools the best coaches in the world are using to find ways to make their athletes better.

      That said, nobody uses just one platform these days, and we are focused on making sure that we are an equal opportunity computer for all of our users. I use Stages Link. Bob uses Xert. Chapo uses TrainingPeaks. Ross uses Strava. All of us deserve a great bike computer that works with everything and is easy to use for everyone. I sat in Team UAE’s follow car before Tour Down Under last week and they were using VeloViewer.

      The bottom line is, we think Stages Link is the best, but everyone is different. I hope everyone gives StagesLink a try, as it comes with a Premium trial with any Dash product purchase!

    • Clive

      Dear Jim,

      Thank you for your reply and replying to everyone too. Stages really do know how to connect with the public.

      It’s great that you get 2 months free trail of Stages Link when you purchase a dash. This is how I got hooked. It is awesome to use!

      It’s really impressive that another World Tour Team UAE are using Stages Products. I would like to know how Dan Martin is getting on with is Power Meter and Dash, especially as he has been a Garmin ambassador for years?

      I have already told my bike shop to inform me as soon as they are in stocks.

    • Clive,

      I tell you what, talking to you is a lot more fun that trying to figure out how in the heck we will make a text entry widget that does not suck with only 4 buttons! Have you ever used the Amazon Fire Stick? Oh man, I nearly threw that remote against the wall trying to enter a password. Thankfully we have great App integration. Phew.

      I just got back from Tour Down Under where we did some testing with UAE and got a lot of good feedback from them. We dont want to put the dash on your bike until its perfect, Garmin set a high bar to clear, and the last thing we want to do is negatively impact your performance!

      If it were ready for Dan Martin it would be on the shelves for you to go get now. Keep an eye out for dashes on UAE bikes right around the same time your local shop calls you up and lets you know your Dash is ready.

    • Clive Astman

      Hi Jim,

      I have another question regarding the new Dash. Is smart trainer control being implemented on these new devices. I am little concerned about it. We were lead to believe this was going to happen on the original but it seems implantation was dropped on the original. This is will be one killer feature for us in the UK for winter training!

    • Clive,

      I am really sorry that we couldn’t get Dash 1 up and running with trainer control, the processor and memory limitations of the device made developing that kind of feature, and others like mapping, beyond possible. This was not our intention at all, and I apologize. If this is something currently giving you grief, let the CS team know and we’ll try to work something out.

      One of the benefits of the Dash 1 development is we now have a full bike computer built on some pretty lightweight hardware, and can release its better looking L10 update for $149.

      When we started the 50 series project, we knew what we were up against from Garmin and Wahoo, so we significantly upped our hardware game. We have a super powerful CPU, 16GB of Flash, and a ton of RAM just to make sure that there would be no unexpected limitations down the road, even after we conquered all the things we already have ready for launch.

      I’m glad you asked. I hope the features that do exist in Dash 1 are serving you well. We look forward to putting a colorful touch on trainer control before Fall.

  15. Sebastian

    Why did no one mention Rule #37 yet? link to velominati.com

    • Roady

      I’m sure it has been mentioned before, also I seem to recall Ray using ‘cat ears’ or whatever they’re called on his helmet straps to reduce wind noise when riding, so the straps being held out by his glasses might be intentional. Although I’m going with ease of having his shades on before his helmet and him not really giving a damn! 🙂

  16. Roady

    Ray, grammar/wording on your funny aside – ‘some*one* has always gone horribly sideways.’ Haha 🙂

  17. Kyle

    Ray or Stages – is there any indication on if the Stages units will support the RTL-510 or Ant+ light protocols on the Bontrager lights? This is an important feature for me – data is all well and good but I want to make it home safely.

    Wahoo is lagging behind on this implementation and may not implement it. I think it’s good business to support any safety protocols for customers.

    • Kyle,

      We’re all riders here at Stages with loved ones at home that we all want to see again. I’ve personally begun to ride more bike paths and MTB trails because cars are such a risk for all of us. I think we all want to be that old fit person that the local news does a funny spot on like “local 99 year old still rides 5000 miles a year!!!”

      Anyways, yes. Safety is huge for us. It’s unfortunate that we cannot quite get to a radar and light integration for launch, but trust me, it is 100% in our early plans for post launch features, because all of us here at Stages selfishly want it too. Like all of the features we do have, we want to make it right for cyclists.

      Keep an eye out for a release announcement after our on-sale. Were on it.

  18. Alister

    Quick one: are there any plans to (or do you already) support Bestbikesplit race plans – the tcx or fit race file that gives goal wattages for sections of courses?

    • Alister,

      Good one! We accommodated for this in the underlying course software so its a matter of making the connection happen and releasing an update after launch! Some of our employees use Bestbikesplit for TT planning and we have had our eye on this for a while now.

      First we want to make the best courses, workouts, maps, altitude profile, data fields, app analysis, web support, customization, visibility. Then, “What power specifically should i be doing right now on this uphill?!”

    • Alister

      Awesome – thank you Jim.

      Looks like my decision has just been made for me – super happy with the Stages PM I use
      (the numbers are terrible but it’s not the machine’s fault!).

      Time to get the L10 to me!

    • Hey Alister,

      I just want to be clear, the 50 series will support Best Bike Split style courses after our initial launch, but we will not be able to roll that in to the L10. To add more features to the L10 we would need to get a more expensive computer chip, and we really wanted to keep the L10 as the best value out there, so Bestbikesplit style courses can only be added to the more powerful units.

      I apologize if there was some confusion, I would hate to mislead you resulting in a disappointing experience later. You can still improve those “terrible” numbers with the amazing workout functionality on the L10, and then ignore all advice during your TT and just use the “shut up legs!” philosophy.

  19. ryku

    the M50 looks nice… is it support charge on the go?

  20. Max

    Please please please tell me this:
    Do intervals auto-advance if longer than a minute now? the biggest failing of the current dash is that if i’m 2, 3, 4, x minutes in to a high intensity interval, i have to look down and press lap to get to the resting part

    • Max,

      Great news! The 50 series will allow you to pick from 3 different auto lapping features:

      – All laps automatically advance
      – Active laps advance (this is defined in the fit file, and will fix the specific issue you are having)
      – No laps automatically advance

      A lot of companies are dealing with how to manage lap advance while still giving the user some flexibility. We primarily wanted to make sure that we had a setting where our “off” laps were a bit flexible, with stoplights and cars and all, while our on laps ended for us. Most companies are defining no time for off intervals, which is not good because very often there is a specific time dedicated to off intervals too! So, with this feature, I think we have handled auto lap advance in workouts better than anyone else.

    • SteveM

      Hi, will they have lap by position? It’s about the #1 feature request on Wahoo which they aren’t building, and is about the only thing preventing me moving to a device other than Garmin. Lap by position is incredibly useful for things like crit and circuit racing. Thanks!

    • Steve,

      Unfortunately at launch we will not support this feature. I have added a feature request for it to remind me of it for post launch feature rollouts. We’re certainly not opposed to it, but wont be able to provide it right away.

    • SteveM

      Ok thanks will keep an eye on things

  21. Cypher

    Will there be a support for Komoot?

    • Cypher,

      Reading through these comments shows just how many different platforms people are using to make riding easier for them. That’s why we made a folder on the dash you can add courses and workouts to, via usb, so at the very least sites like Komoot are supported using their GPX export feature.

      Our number 1 priority was working with everything out of the box. We have a ton of platforms that we want to make it easier to use, by allowing you to connect your Stages Link account to a site like Komoot so we can automatically sync all your courses to your dash via BLE connection. Each one of those will require some work on our side and theirs, so we will try our best to get through to all of these platforms and connect our dashes to your courses automatically. One thing you can do is voice this request to Komoot so when I call them up, they know its a good investment of their time!

      In the meantime, for sure, at launch you can drag and drop a gpx course to the Dash and ride it on our bright colorful maps.

  22. Matthew

    Jim,

    Will there be support for cycling dynamics, and especially Pioneer power meter cycling dynamics?

    • Matthew,

      We think the cycling dynamics are pretty cool, and do have LR Balance, Torque Effectiveness, and Pedal Smoothness supported on all Dash units, but when given a limited amount of time to make the most impact on our riders, we had to focus on making workouts exciting again, or maps easy to follow even without a course, and had to shelve some of the more advanced Pioneer style vector analysis metrics for a later date.

      That’s a long winded way of saying, no, we don’t support the Pioneer cycling dynamics. We are trying to get the most amount of people out and riding, it looks like in that effort we didn’t hit your needs. Sorry about that.

  23. Scott Millns

    Cheers Matthew,

    It’s just nice not to be tied to two platforms to make one work smoothly.

  24. Patrick Bee

    Hey Jim from Stages!

    Great to hear all the work and updates going into the new Dashes. Will there be support / options / firmware / upgrades the original Dash? I absolutely love the thing and don’t want to be left wayside. Maps isn’t a deal breaker for me as I was in it for the workout features. I had been a Today’s Plan user, but now to TrainingPeaks with the coach I work with – which is my only sort of headache with it right now. I’d probably go the Link route, but the cost, I feel, isn’t where I’d like it.

    Anyways, thanks for all the work the Stages have put into these projects!

    • Hey Patrick,

      When we launch, give our CS team a call and they will get you sorted out.

      What is your current TrainingPeaks annual cost? Is that the only thing standing in the way between you and Link Premium?

      (For those of you reading this, Link Community will always allow you to manage your dash, use some ride analytics, and manage 3rd party connections for free, Patrick is referring to a more advanced version of Link called Premium which has all kinds of extra features like customized training plans and world tour quality ride analysis tools).

    • Patrick Bee

      Hey Jim,

      Mostly, yes, the cost. I got all the Today’s Plan features for 15/mo, Link was 20 and Training Peaks is 10/mo if you buy the yearly subscription. Really for the coaching service I use, the training peaks push is all that is needed and I definitely prefer to create the workouts in Today’s Plan for all the customization, but obviously have lost that ability with peaks. Pros and cons for everything and there hasn’t been one best solution, yet it seems like with what is planned that it’ll be closer soon! I just hope everything is followed through with the updates to firmware and such.

      I’ll definitely give CS a call after launch! Your company’s CS has always been top notch. Which is why I have the dash and two stages pm’s!

    • Patrick,

      Super interesting perspective. From just this comment section alone we’ve got maybe 10 different platforms mentioned, every one with different pros and cons (and pricing). It will be interesting to see what you end up with down the road. One of the benefits of having a super-powered analytics platform behind the Dash is the detail guys like you can get into.

      We’ll keep doing our best, you keep an eye on the updates and I hope to see you on Link soon!

    • Patrick Bee

      Thanks Jim! Appreciate it!

    • Bsquared

      Hi Jim from Stages,

      A couple years ago (Oct 2016) I purchase gen2 left-only and had a free trial with Link Premium. Last year I was paying for TP, TR, Zwift, Xert, and Strava. I’ve since stopped paying for everything except TrainerRoad, which I use for training plans to self-coach. The TrainerRoad calendar and analytics are good for basic analysis and getting better. For geeking out on ride data I use Golden Cheetah.

      Last month I took advantage of the sale on your site and upgraded to a gen3 LR power meter. Was not offered another trial of Link Premium. Looking forward to the launch of the L50, and support for Varia 500 radar. I plan to call CS and ask for another Link Premium trial at that time, but its hard to see a compelling reason to pay for another platform with my TrainerRoad / Golden Cheetah combo. Hope that helps.

      Thanks!

    • Bsquared,

      That makes sense to me, I feel kind of the same way with all my video streaming services i dont have time to watch.

      Its a good chance for me to remind the DCR community that the new Stages Link App is very much so worth a deep dive, I dont know if that is Ray’s thing so much, but maybe we will put one together soon. Lots of good stuff on there for free, and of course, additional goodies for premium.

      Man, this radar feedback is fierce! Im glad we did a first ride with Ray to hear about it!

  25. Tony

    I invested in the original dash (Well before the price dump … ouch) after Garmin started giving < 5 hours battery. Benefit of the larger screen for ageing eyes, plus liked the landscape format and the outstanding battery life.

    But got increasingly disappointed that all the planned updates never materialised (Di2 info etc) and with the announcement of the new models seems original owners have been left out in the cold even more (and selling it on means giving it away given current prices).

    Thankfully the mount is bulletproof so it now lives on the MTB, and trashing it in crash won’t totally ruin my day, while a wahoo replaces it on the road bike.

    I just hope that all the promises are fulfilled this time around.

    • Tony,

      We’re really sorry about your first experience with the Dash. I’ve let our CS team know to look out for a note from you to work something out to make it right. Send them a note and they will take care of you.

      As I noted to Clive earlier, we made some poor hardware decisions with Dash 1 that ended up limiting the number of features that could actually fit on the device, which is the main reason we know that the 50 series will not run into that problem. Huge memory, powerful CPU, and 16GB of flash will allow us to add features to the 50 series to our hearts content.

      Thanks for the honesty and the note, see you again over at link to support.stagescycling.com

  26. Zak

    Question for Jim
    Existing stages dash user and anxiously awaiting delivery 2018 cervelo R5
    Ab 06 handlebar
    Which,if any,of your mounts incl the soon to be released ones,will be compatible with this handlebar
    Thx

    • Zak,

      That area next to the stem where a normal 31.8mm mount goes looks pretty tight! Have you held that bar and stem combo in your hands and noticed that the existing mount is too wide?

      We’ll try to get a ruler on a set of those bars to check, otherwise we will have a new mount coming out with the new dashes that uses 2 rubber o-rings and hooks to go anywhere (called, creatively, the “anywhere mount”). If the out front mount does not work, send the CS team a note and we will get it sorted.

    • Patrick Bee

      Are the old mounts going to still be compatible? I’ve got a handful of them for road, two cx bikes, mtn bike and fattie! 🙂

    • Patrick,

      This is the one I can’t change or make better for you, we made some improvements to the mounts and the ring that surrounds the dash to make it look better and accommodate for more models down the road. This means I have to tell you the hard truth is we are not backwards compatible with our new mounts to the old dash. But, we are in a very accommodating mood over here at Stages because, that sucks! We really wanted to make sure the new mount was the best mount as we start anew with the Dash line.

      The L10, M50, and L50 are all compatible with our new suite of mounts. Although writing this is making me want to 3d print you 10 adapters, which don’t exist and I would have to invent.

      Really sorry. Drop us a line and we will see what we can do.

  27. Matthew

    Jim,

    Will the new Dash head units be able to identify a specific bike from a specific sensor? E.g., if paired to power meter A, then the bike is X (road); while if paired to power meter B, then the bike is Y (gravel)

    If so, then would the bike get passed on when syncing to other platforms? E.g., Strava. I’m testing bike garage to track consumable components (e.g., chains, cassettes) life-span, and bike garage gets ride data from Strava. To make this work, I have to correct the bike in Strava so that gravel rides are associated to my gravel bike, road to my road bike, and indoor to my dedicated indoor trainer bike.

    • Matthew,

      First, we do save power meter metadata in our ride files. We track zero offsets and battery life of our power meters in Stages Link so our users can track the health of their stages power meters. We do not, however, take care of the bike portion of your request.

      We realized that a lot of users have only one bike, and the presence of bike profiles on a device became a nuisance for those riders, so on the Dash we made activity profiles super flexible, allowing you to name them after a particular bike if you like and add those sensors to the individual profile. Or you can make a few different profiles for different types of riding and add all of your sensors to every one of them. This means we dont have any specific bike field to save to our ride files.

      If we learned anything from making power meters and head units for a while now, its that if a feature is not simple and automated, its tough to get a lot of traction with your users. I hope the PM metadata is enough. Good luck!

  28. nico prinsen

    Hi, I’m so looking forward to the release of the L50. I was a huge fan of the first dash, alldoh the absence of the gps navigation made me go back to wahoo. Also alot of problems with sattelite connection and problems with sync between link and the device. I’m certain all those problems are out of the way now.
    My question is, can I allready start using Dash LINK to log my rides when using a wahoo elemnt? I don’t expect to be able to use all the ability’s. If so it would be great to get some practice with the platform.

    • Nico,

      Absolutely!! Stages Link accepts all kinds of ride file formats, and I know the good folks at Wahoo respect the FIT standard, so theres nothing keeping you from giving all the tools in Link (apart from the ones that allow you to customize your dash settings and manage your stages power meters) a try. It’s powered by Todays Plan, which is where all kinds of fancy tools are created for digging deeper into your rides than you knew you could.

      Link app update coming soon too, so that will also work for you on your Link exploration.

  29. Mayhem

    Can the M50 be mounted in landscape orientation like the original Dash, or would I need to go for the L50 if I want landscape…?

    • Mayhem,

      We still support both on all units! We did emphasize an orientation for both units by designing the buttons along one edge, however, on both units when you mount them in their alternate orientation, the buttons are still readily accessible along one side.

  30. Matt

    Hi – While I currently use a triathlon watch vs a head unit these units look very capable and reasonably priced for the features.

    I am interested in learning more about the ANT+ reliability in terms of data capture from a Stages Gen 3 power meter. I currently use a Garmin 920XT with a Left side only Gen 3 and have found the power meter readings to be unreliable. After trying all of the suggestions on Stages website it has improved but not to the point I trust the data. It appears that I will be buying a stationary head unit if I want reliable data from the power meter.

    All that said when I am in the aero position (which is a majority of the time) the head unit will need to be positioned well forward above the water bottle (see attached pic) thereby having the same potential interference issues of water, aluminum, and plastic between the unit and power meter. Do you expect the M50/L50 to be able to overcome these and get reliable readings?

    • Matt,

      Im sorry to hear about the connectivity woes you are having with your watch. It sounds like you have had the full detail from the CS guys so I wont try to do a better job than they can here.

      I have attached a picture of your bike with a few mounting solutions we will offer with Dash M50 and L50 computers.

      My first suggestion would be to use the new top cap mount to center the device right where you can see it in your aero position. You could also use the anywhere mount in this same location (or on your top tube, which i often do for testing many head units at once).

      My more out there suggestion would be to mount the device on the outside of your TT bars with the TT mount.

      I hope this helps!

  31. Paulo Serra

    Nice review/update !

    Hi Jim from Stages,

    Two questions on this,
    1 – Will the L10 have the feature to auto-determine FTP and zones as the M50/L50 ?
    2 – Is there any kind of “livetracking” feature planned ? ( To let the wife know where you are).

    I also had connectivity issues with Stages Gen2 PM along with Garmin headunits, as was almost at the point of purchasing the original Dash, but the lack of livetracking pushed me the Wahoo way.

    But seeing this products makes me want it ! ( Along with the aging eyes ).

    For me, if the L10 has the auto-zones feature, I can almost ignore livetracking at that pricepoint.

    To go the L50 way, livetracking would be interesting, as at that price-point the competition has it ! ( Wahoo / Garmin / Lezyne that I know of ).

    • Paulo,

      Great questions. Our answers:

      1. Unfortunately not. The L10 lacks the memory to do this. The L10 is, however, fully integrated to the new Link App and as always the Link Web platforms. We send you alerts when you achieve your best 20min power (and a whole slew of other records) during an uploaded ride, which you can use to indicate you need to think about updating your FTP.
      2. With the new Link App improvements, we are certainly planning on adding this as a Link App feature in the near future. We’re still polishing off the fancy new sync process so all of the latest activity overviews, workout and course syncs, and performance analysis are working perfectly for launch.

      So, that was not great news for you, but I think it’s important you get the right computer for your needs. Since live tracking is planned as an App level feature, when L10 has it, M50 and L50 also have it. The L50 is going to be a whole new level of visibility at its price point. The map and workouts alone are fully colored to make it simple to know what is happening at a glance, and the size of the display and resolution make it the best computer for aging eyes, no question.

      Believe me, we have a super team of developers hammering out features at the moment, and we will be ticking items off the list. Look for the DCR In-Depth review of the new 50 series when it comes out, there is a lot of stuff in those computers that rethink features we all assume are the same.

    • Paulo Serra

      Thanks for the quick and detailed reply.

      The L10 seems great value, but the L50 is pure eye candy, from what has been shared, and we cyclists are anything but rational.

      The colors seem a great improvement. I really like the leds on the wahoo and this seems even better.
      If there an option to invert some fields as well it would be even more visible.
      (Black background on Power for example)

      Well, if I take your word on livetracking and the L50 is made available, I might order it and make my own review instead of waiting for Rays !!

      Any deals planned for existing Power meter owners ?

      Thanks again for the great feedback, this is where Stages really excels.

    • Paulo,

      I’d say I have a past of getting suckered in to the shiny colorful thing in the past. Im not sorry about that.

      All of our computers have an inverted setting (L10 its called Inverse, M50/L50 has day and night mode). Right now its looking pretty dang cool to see all those colors standing out on the dark background. I think it will be my default.

      As the engineering guy, I am not privy to any past Stages power owner sales. The thing Stages Power meter owners do get with Dash is a way to track their zero resets and battery life on the Link website, which is pretty cool.

      Hang in there, we want these things on the market as much as you do, but then again, we both want them to be great first. Soon!

    • Bsquared

      Jim – really appreciate your posts but you guys are killing me…. wife is asking for birthday wish list and I can’t put the L50 on it!

    • Trust me, getting the L50 out so you can have it for your birthday is actually MY birthday wish.

      Any chance you can convince her, after all these years, that your birthday is just a bit later?

      We’re close!

  32. Björn Þór

    Hey Jim.

    I can see Stages has a mount for the Dash to pair with the Pro stealth evo.

    For us using Wiliers Alabarda handlebar or the Visions Metron 5d could we expect to see mounts in the future?

    Thanks again for all the information above!

    • Bjorn,

      I will say we picked a heck of a time to innovate on what we saw as a sub-par mounting standard, suddenly everyone is making custom aero road bars!

      We want our computers to look streamlined and integrated with your bike, which is why we are setting up some small batch aluminum mount runs to accommodate our most aero of customers. In your case, these bars did not make it to my list (however they are on there now), so we made a mount that we know will fit every bar on the market: the Anywhere Mount.

      You will for sure be able to use the anywhere mount. That will give us a little time to work through all the crazy new integrated bar mount ideas everyone has, until hopefully everyone agrees that 2 bolts lined up along the bottom of the stem is the way to go 😉

  33. Giles Rowland

    Quick (but basic) question on your maps: do they show street names?

    Some other platforms don’t, and that can make navigation tricky.

    Thank you

    Giles

    • Giles,

      We are currently playing with that right now! Since we use the OSM, all of the text we could ever want is available to us to display, however, right now we are struggling to see if it is useful with all the bike specific styling we do on the roads, and with courses pushing navigational cues and points of interest in an overlay, we have yet to find a good amount of text to include that does not clutter up the map unnecessarily.

      The important thing here is we CAN do it, but you will see, it might not be the best thing. Maybe we will make it a setting in the future, but I would bet that at launch we will keep that text off the map until we see a really good reason to include it beyond our navigational course cues.

    • Giles Rowland

      Thanks Jim. Appreciate your response. I have to say that Garmin seem to strike a good balance with text on their maps. Wahoo and Lezyne don’t (seem) to put any street names which can make navigation in unfamiliar areas difficult. For my money a setting to enable different levels of text would be really handy. Anyway I’m looking forward to giving one of your devices a try when they’re available and we’ll see how it goes.

    • We will take a look. I know Garmin also lists the street in a status bar style at the top, something else to consider.

      We really want to put our cycling specific maps out there and then grow into addressing these things with feedback from people like you. I genuinely wonder once you put a course on the Dash 2, with the quality of the maps, nav cues and elevation profile, whether you will want street names cluttering up the display. Or if you simply go for a exploration without a course, if you will prefer the cycling specific metadata we indicate with colors, or if street names would be a higher priority.

    • Sander

      Is there a datafield avaible with the name of the next roite/waypoint?

  34. John Marrocco

    Looking forward to these units. Just purchased a Stages LR, my first PM.

    • John,

      That’s great news! Can’t wait to get them out to you. I know you really mean just one of the two, but did you know, you could buy both an M and an L for less than a Garmin 1030? Just sayin…

    • John Marrocco

      Just might, I have 3 Garmins, 3 Stages would work too.

      I have my Garmin 1030 mounted out front and was hoping your over stem mount attached to the right of the stem but it looks like it has to be mounted on the left side of the stem, same as Garmin. Its not reversible is it? I assume your Anywhere Mount can go on the stem also?

      Thanks again.

    • John,

      We left room for the Di2 controls often located to the right of the stem on MTBs, hence the left side mounting of our over stem MTB mount. I didn’t much consider the presence of another bike computer out there 🙂

      I’ll bet you can stack the 2 mounts to the left, I’ve done this for multi computer testing in the past. And yes, the anywhere mount will handle any mounting challenge. I might also recommend ditching that Garmin 1030, ours has better maps and “maserati” workouts and zone colored data fields and a brighter display and…. that’s enough out of me.

  35. Philip

    Dear Stages,

    Are any further updates for Gen 2 Stages powermeters in the pipeline? Many people still own these units and still have frequent power reading dropouts and connectivity issues. I have been through all the customer service options and the problem still persists. It seems that the signal was just to weak to provide a reliable connection with the head unit when these units were made. Can anything be done to resolve this? Can Stages do any sort of firmware release to resolve this for so many users?

    • Philip,

      I’m not cool enough to be on the CS team, so I can’t pull up your history with them to see the struggles you have patiently tried to work through, but what I do know is that while some people do have some connectivity issues, it is a small percentage of units shipped from Gen 2. I assume you’ve been through the gambit with the CS folks so let’s not get into it here. If it’s still a problem for you, get back in touch and let’s see if we can get you fixed up. We’re here to tell you your power, so lets make sure were doing that!

    • Philip

      Hi Jim,

      Thanks for your reply. Yes I am still having issues. Actually my Stages Gen 2 has never worked properly from the day I got it. Previously I had a Gen 1 unit which worked flawlessly for over 2 years, I never experienced any faults or dropouts with it at all until it finally succumbed to water ingress which as we now know was a common problem caused by the door seals on those Gen 1 units. I contacted Stages and after sending them some photos of corrosion in the battery housing they replaced it with a Gen 2, and I was very happy thinking my troubles were over. However since day one the Gen 2 has never worked as it should, with very frequent dropouts. I contacted Stages again very early in the piece and was told I must have been mounting it wrong! That I should mount it on the stem and not on my out front mount even though that is where the Gen 1 was mounted with never any problems. So I did mount it on the stem and it still didn’t work. I contacted Stages again and was then told to do a full reset of my head unit. I was reluctant to do that but I did it anyway because I was so hopeful of getting the dropout problem resolved. Unfortunately that didn’t work either and Stages said to send the device in to them for testing. I did that also including numerous printouts of my Strava files which clearly showed the very regular power dropouts. Despite this Stages sent it back saying they couldn’t find any problem with it and therefore would not send me another unit. Well I was very disappointed and still am, and my unit still doesn’t work propery. When the Gen 3 was released, Stages made a big song and dance about these new units having a 6 times stronger antenna than the previous Gen 2 which led me to think I was correct when I suspected that the Gen 2 units were indeed released with an antenna problem. Anyway if you are somehow able to resolve my situation I would be very grateful.

    • Hey Philip!

      This is Aaron at Stages. I work for the CS team. Please reach out either to me personally, acasey at stagescycling.com or to our support portal support at stagescycling.com and we’ll see what we can do for you!

  36. David E

    Look like fantastic headunits, any update on when they will be launched in UK? Particularly excited about the L50.

    Great article by the way, and loving all the content on YouTube as well.